The Wire: Mission Accomplished
February 17, 2015 11:19 AM - Season 3, Episode 12 - Subscribe

"We fight on that lie." -Slim Charles

Season 3 comes to a close. Avon's heart is no longer in the war, but Slim Charles points out that the war is still on and needs to be won. Both sides use the lie of Stringer's death to build morale and resolve. McNulty is left feeling disconsolate by the death of Stringer, but passes along the tip about the safehouse. The raid is successful, and the Barksdale-Marlo war ends with a whimper, Avon sitting in court while Marlo gets his corners back.

Tipped by Tony Gray and Carcetti, the media descends on Hamsterdam, ending the deliberations about its future as the Mayor's hand is forced (and his eyes opened ). Burrell plays his hand to save his career. Bunny receives his walking papers, blackmailed into a lower retirement payout.

McNulty moves on from the detail, accepting that he might need to be somewhere else to be happy. Cutty discovers that the war ending means some of his boys might be back on the corners, but that he still has influence. Bubbles carries on in the wreck of Hamsterdam, seeing opportunity in the rubble. Carcetti gives a rousing speech, but it uses the same old rhetoric of war.

Bunny and Stringer are strongly paralleled characters in Season 3, both trying to change the game they are in, and both ultimately failing. As a final touch, both are given the same line when facing their executioner.

The season opened with the destruction of the towers and the promise of reform; it ends with the destruction of Hamsterdam and its promise of reform. The hoppers are back on the corners, and the police are back to busting heads, while the politicians play their game out of concern for profile and advantage.
posted by nubs (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There is too much money to be made in the war on drugs for it to do anything but continue.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:42 PM on February 17, 2015

So Hamsterdam falls, as we knew it would. This marks the end of a new order in the city, with the co-op still existent but with the violent Marlo ascendant. Meanwhile the police are back to their same old behaviour, and the unit is in trouble: McNulty has finally realised that he can't get the satisfaction he desires from his job, with his supposed victory a sham (although, more on this in a second) and Daniels is no longer directly in control of it.

This marks Daniels beginning to rise up the ranks. He is an interesting character here. He has a shady past (and we never do find out if he did take that money) and an awkward relationship with his wife, but he's willing to do the right thing, while understanding the political game. McNulty made some things happen by butting his head against them, but it took Daniels political instincts to get the unit alive and effective. And taking Avon, for all that it was a bit of a gimme at the end, does prevent an extremely violent war from occurring. Of course, as we shall find out, Marlo is quite capable of carrying out violence all on his lonesome.

Bunny Colvin is another interesting character. We are meant to like him, but he is an extremely arrogant character. Hamsterdam as it initially was caused a lot of suffering, and it took others to guide him in the right direction. He was convinced he could do this without any harm befalling him or others, but he overplayed his hand, and is punished as a result.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:08 AM on February 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

There is too much money to be made in the war on drugs for it to do anything but continue.

Which I thought was interestingly brought in by having some folks from Washington pay a visit to the Mayor once word of Hamsterdam got out; they laid out the costs in terms of grant monies the city would no longer receive if an experiment like that were to be tried again.

Bunny Colvin is another interesting character. We are meant to like him, but he is an extremely arrogant character.

I don't know if I would use arrogant; I view him as short-sighted and somewhat cowardly. He figures he can run his experiment, and duck out on it with his retirement and so not experience any blowback. He's right in the sense that the war on drugs has left the focus on the wrong things, but goes about attempting to address it in the wrong way. The Deacon calls him out on it, and urges him to try to stay and finish what he's started, but Bunny doesn't have the political skills to play the game he finds himself in. Like Stringer, he becomes a man without a country.
posted by nubs at 9:00 AM on February 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Season 3 has ended. I'm up to continue, if there are no objections.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:35 PM on March 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

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